The 2010 Nissan Altima, despite being a popular midsize sedan, has faced several recurring problems over the years. From electronic glitches to mechanical failures, understanding these issues is crucial for potential owners.
1. Starting Woes and Electronic Steering Column Lock
One of the most reported problems with the 2010 Altima is the failure of the push-button start mechanism. The culprit here is often a faulty electronic steering column lock. While not directly causing crashes, it renders the car immobile, necessitating an expensive tow and a $1,000 replacement.
2. Melting Dashboards and Glare Issues
A surprising and aesthetically concerning problem is the melting dashboard. Typically observed around 50–60,000 miles, the dashboard material succumbs to heat, becoming sticky and reflective. Though not directly linked to reliability, it has caused glare issues, leading to at least one reported crash.
3. Recalls: Batteries, Navigation, and Structural Concerns
The 2010 Altima has faced three recalls. The most critical was the replacement of the Garmin navigation unit’s battery due to overheating and fire risks. Additionally, structural issues leading to potential crashes were addressed.
Despite its notorious reputation, the 2010 Altima can be a reasonably reliable vehicle, especially if recall repairs have been completed. RepairPal and J.D. Power rate it well, giving it a 4 out of 5 and 84/100 for reliability, respectively. However, Consumer Reports rates it only as average, and CarComplaints.com goes so far as to designate it with a “Beware of the Clunker” badge.
Specific Mechanical Concerns
1. Crankshaft and Camshaft Sensor Recall
Nissan issued a recall for the crankshaft and camshaft sensors, addressing potential issues related to engine performance and reliability.
2. Catalytic Converter and Check Engine Light
Another common problem involves the failure of the catalytic converter closest to the cylinder head, leading to the illumination of the check engine light.
3. Fuel Pump Issues
Owners have reported concerns regarding the Nissan Altima’s fuel pump, potentially affecting the vehicle’s overall performance.
4. Engine Cranking and Starting Problems
Some Altima owners faced challenges with engines cranking but not starting, or running rough when they do.
5. Oil Cooler Seal Leak
A less common but noteworthy problem includes a failed external seal on the engine oil cooler, resulting in potential leaks.
While the 2010 Altima may have its share of problems, owners can find solace in the fact that repair costs are not exorbitant. On average, owners spend around $435 per year on repairs, significantly lower than the industry-wide average of $652.